Dogs Trust

Teenage Dogs are at Highest Risk of Being Surrendered by their Owners

We have released research today showing that adolescent dogs are most at risk of being surrendered by their owners. The findings highlight that owning a ‘teenage’ dog can be challenging and knowing this could help manage owners’ expectations.

So far in 2023, we have received 2,713 surrender requests with 49% being dogs aged from 6 to 24 months and classified as adolescent. We believe that training and education could play a significant role in helping owners understand dogs of this age and we run adolescent Dog School training classes.

Corina Fitzsimons, Communications Manager at Dogs Trust Ireland, explains: Our ‘Generation Pup’ study follows dogs of all breeds during puppyhood and throughout their adult lives. Although “love” was the most used word when describing how families felt about their dog, they were still struggling with problem behaviours, and described their adolescent dogs as too excitable, too boisterous, too mischievous and too independent. Some compared their dog to a “sassy teenager” and said their dog was “testing boundaries” with them. We hope by highlighting these findings that we can encourage owners to seek help early on before behaviours become problematic. Above all else, we want dogs to remain happy in their homes and we believe early intervention and training is key in achieving that.”

Vonna Nolan, Dog School Head Coach, continues: The study also revealed that many dog owners believe that their dog will simply grow-out of certain behaviours they develop as puppies, however, that is not always the case. While these behaviours are just a part of growing up for dogs, we want to ensure they don’t turn in to bigger issues. Starting training early is important and can not only help you build a better bond with your dog, it can also help to nip any potentially problematic behaviours in the bud. However, it’s never too late to start. We want to encourage anyone who has recently gotten a puppy or an adolescent dog to consider signing up for our Dog School classes, or to contact us for more information.”

We offer low-cost online training for dogs via our Dog School classes. Specific puppy, adolescent and adult classes are available, as well as one-to-one classes for owners who feel their dog may benefit from a more tailored approach. For more information, please visit